Tips From a New York City Private Eye and Consultant

We asked our friend Judd Bank of CPI Investigations to write a primer on home and personal safety measures you can take to safeguard yourself from crime. We hope you find this information helpful as a jumping off point, to get you started thinking about ways to prevent crime from happening to you.

Home Security

As we well know, first secure all your doors and windows with proper locks.  Today’s home automation systems enable you to remotely monitor your home, lock your doors, automatically turn your lights on and off, set your alarm system and view live feed and recordings from you security cameras.

You can also consider buying a dog;  in security terms, there are two types of dogs:

  1. The watch dog. This dog can alert you as well as scare off intruders.
  2. The guard dog.  These are breeds such as Mastiffs, German Sheppard’s, Dobermans, Pitbulls, etc… that have been specifically bred to protect your family and subdue intruders.
If you enter your home and a burglar is inside, it is not advisable to fight the burglar.  The best approach is to run out of your house and go to a neighbor’s house and call the police.


38 percent of stalking victims are everyday people.  Their stalkers are ex-spouses, lovers, acquaintances or strangers.  If you are being stalked:

  • Notify the police immediately and get an order of protection against the stalker.
  • Keep a journal of events and save the date and time of all things that may serve as evidence.
  • Do not try to reason or reconcile with the stalker.
  • If you think you are being followed when you are driving, make four right turns.  If the vehicle behind you does the same, try to get to the nearest police station.
  • You can hire a private investigator as a bodyguard for your personal protection.  A private investigator can also perform counter-surveillance — following you to, in essence, see if anyone is following you.

 Defensive Weapons

Unless you have received proper training, any personal protection tool that you possess can be used against you.  If you feel you must carry something, check the laws of your state regarding its legality, and get proper training!  If you are not comfortable with carrying something, at the very least a whistle, some pepper spray and your cell phone should be the minimum.

Security in the Streets

The first thing that I recommend is for everyone to, at the very least, take rudimentary self-defense courses. If you are unwilling or unable to dedicate time on a regular basis to learn a proper martial art, at the very least you can arm yourself with some simple techniques that may give you those precious seconds that can allow you to escape.

Next, don’t carry more money or valuables that you cannot afford to lose. In the event you are approach by a robber, surrender your valuables; they are much easier to replace than your life.

Here are some other quick tips:

  • Walk on the side of the street facing the incoming traffic.
  • If you feel you are being followed on a deserted street, slow down or speed up or change direction to indicate to your pursuer that you are being followed.
  • When you are walking down the street, and encounter an arrest, riot, fire, brawl or other incident, don’t become a spectator; protect yourself by leaving the situation.